Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has commenced the pilot phase of the Land Swap Initiative designed to remedy the infrastructure deficit in the nation’s capital.
Messrs Gwagwa Concession Limited, which is piloting the first phase of the land swap deal, started with the commencement of payment of compensation for economic trees and crops in Gwagwa District.
In a statement signed by public relations officer, FCDA Department of Resettlement and Compensation, Felicia Okoro, he said the payment of the compensation to the natives is a major part of measures to pave way for the commencement of work on the provision of engineering infrastructure to the first land swap district.
According to the statement, the developer who flagged off the first phase of payment for compensation of about N300 million out of the estimated N1.5 billion for compensation for economic trees and crops to the natives and residents of Gwagwa community has by this action shown capacity and readiness to move to site years after the programme was conceived.
The executive secretary of the FCDA Board, Engr Shehu Ahmad, at the commencement of issuance of the compensation cheques to affected members of the communities in Abuja recently, said they have flagged off the payment of compensation for economic trees and crops concerning the acquisition of the land meant for the development of infrastructure, through the land swap arrangement and initiative of the FCT administration.
“We hold this payment of compensation very critical because the minister has performed the flag-off of the land swap programme in the FCT. Now, the community and FCT residents will know that the FCT Administration is very prepared to go on and with an experienced investor who has shown a great level of commitment to the land swap programme as a pilot scheme.
“The authority is excited about the development and believes that upon completion, the scheme will usher in the much-desired infrastructure growth and accelerated development in partnership with the private sector.”
“This no doubt is coming as a big relief to the government who opted for the land swap initiative when it was obvious that government alone can no longer fund infrastructural development through budgetary provision due to paucity of funds and other competitive demands,” he said.
The director, Department of Resettlement and Compensation, Perpetua Ohammah, spoke on details of the compensation. “We have two cheques being presented to each person. One is as agreed with the chief. That is a base value for every indigene that is going to lose his land.”
Manager of operations, Resettlement, and Compensation of Gwagwa Concession Limited, Ishaku Batagarawa, assured the administration and communities of their commitment to the project which when completed many would be fully engaged in economic activities.